HPRP to 1988 and beyond

This was the report on the HPRP published by the Department of Educational Studies in 1988.

The mature mix

The Human Potential Research Project continues to offer a wide range of developmental opportunities to the public services, to the industrial and commercial sector, and to individuals who wish to develop their personal or professional effectiveness. Generally, the Project has had another successful year. This year we have offered our largest programme of short courses to date. These have been well attended despite significant increases in cost. The Project offers a successful consultancy and in-house staff development and training service through its network of experienced facilitators, some thirty in all (including two full-time and one part-time member of staff). All of these services have attracted participants from major industrial companies such as British Telecom, British Gas, many commercial enterprises and a variety of professional groups, including doctors, nurses, police, managers, and trainers.

A suite of courses

Facilitator Styles - a two year part-time training for facilitators and trainers is now offered on an annual basis in response to increased demand.
The Personal Development and Community Participation Course is offered as an access route to the Facilitator Styles and an opportunity for those who wish to have a more extended group centred approach to explore those themes. It is a six month part-time course offered annually.
Our Training the Trainers packages in Assertiveness, Stress Management, Six Category Intervention Analysis, and Co-Counselling have become immensely popular.

The Human Potential Resource Group

The Project has been undergoing some re-organisation in order to take advantage of the opportunities available in the Industrial and Commercial sector. We have made some changes in order to highlight our reputation as Human Resource developers which already exists in the fields of personal growth, education and training, professional human relations, and to increase the effectiveness of our marketing:
a) The Project will now be identified as the HUMAN POTENTIAL RESOURCE GROUP (HPRG) to reflect the major emphasis of our work and link it to the generally recognised field of human resource development.
b) There will now be two programmes of short courses offered by the Human Potential Resource Group instead of the current one. The courses will in future appear in two separate brochures.
i) The 'Personal Effectiveness Programme' will concentrate on self management, developing personal capacities and potential, communication and interpersonal skills training. This programme is aimed at the general public and professionals who need more rounded personal development.
ii) The 'Professional Development Programme' will focus on the human relations dimension of a wider range of professional practice; education and training skills for professionals with particular reference to experiential learning and group facilitation; and to the design and delivery of training programmes. The programme is aimed at the caring/helping professions and those broadly involved in education and training in the public service sector.
c) The Human Potential Resource Group is currently in the process of creating a 'Management and Training Programme'. This will be aimed more specifically at the industrial and commercial sectors and is scheduled to commence in Spring 1989.

since then

The HPRG developed two Postgraduate courses, the MSc below and a groundbreaking programme of study leading to a Postgraduate Certificate in Spiritual Development and Facilitation led by Josie Gregory, who was Director of Studies for the MSc in Change Agent Skills and Strategies from 1997 – 2003. Prior to that, she was Director of the Professional Development Programme and facilitated many of the courses under the banner of the Human Potential Research Group.

In the 1990’s Paul Barber was recruited by the Human Potential Research Group to help develop the first MSc in Change Agent Skills and Strategies (CASS). His facilitation of the 'Developing Group and Teams' strand of this course drew attention from industry and led to an academic-commercial partnership to deliver this MSc in a commercial setting as a vehicle for organisational learning and cultural renewal. This academic-commercial partnership in turn sired the UK’s first MSc in Management Consultancy.

Paul Tosey joined the group in 1991 to validate and run the MSc in Change Agent Skills and Strategies and continues today as programme leader.

The University closed the Department of Educational Studies and transferred the two remaining staff and courses into the new School of Management, though only the MSc course survives. It may be possible to write an epitaph on the work of the HPRP and its successors in the future as it has been difficult to access any archived material about the many changes which took place in the late 90's and early 2000's. It seems the work was too radical to survive under modern conditions. It is a strange turn of events that experiential teaching and learning continues to be used throughout higher education yet there is no longer a centre of excellence in which criteria and standards of practice in the essential facilitator skills are researched, developed, published and promoted experientially as was the core mission the Human Potential Research Project expressed in a model programme.

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